In every life we have some trouble…
It’s Day 2 of the WEGO Health Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge, and I’m still going strong.
And by “going strong,” I mean it took 5 hours to write this as I consumed a bag of Starburst jelly beans.
Key to Happiness
What do you think is the key to happiness? Is it being able to overcome a hard time? Laughter? Maintaining a positive attitude?
I’m grateful that despite everything I’ve been through medically, I’m a relatively happy person. I find myself in dark places or having bad thoughts like any human (and no doubt my cats when I sing to them), but over time, I’m able to shake myself out of the funk.
I believed I’d be much “happier” if I didn’t have any of my illnesses. Without my heart defect, I would have played sports growing up like I always wanted to. If lupus and other auto-immune diseases weren’t a part of my life, I’d still be working as a pediatric nurse, doing what I love. I’d be pregnant with my third child (and in this fantasy, no stretch marks or extra chins), and having a double mastectomy wouldn’t be a reality.
Take away my health issues, and what’s left? Maybe I would have sucked at sports. I manage to trip over air on daily basis, so this is a real possibility. Without my experiences as a cardiac kid, I could’ve been the worst pediatric nurse on the planet. I wouldn’t have this blog, and I would not be a
world famous health advocate.
I tend to think that if it weren’t all the health stuff, it’d be something else. It’s always something, right? I could be stuck in a loveless marriage, or in a job I truly dislike, and not know how to get out of either. I could hate puppies or ice cream or music or sunshine. Maybe I’d be one of those people who, no matter how much good is in their life, can never see the glass as half full.
One of my all-time favorite quotes was spoken by the great Professor Randy Pausch- “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.”
And that right there is how I maintain happiness (and my sanity) through all this adversity; I smile, I laugh, I crack jokes, and I’ve made my journey an open book in order to teach and advocate. Does this sound like happiness to everyone, absolutely not. Im sure there are people out there disgusted that I’ve shared post-mastectomy or nose tampon photos and wonder “when the hell is that Tina Fey wannabe going to stop cracking jokes and start taking her health seriously?” But, I could easily spend day after day alone in my house, only coming out for treatments and doctor’s appointments. What kind of life is that?
I got this text yesterday from one of my dearest friends after she read my blog. And yes, we’re friends, so she may be a bit biased (Hi Lisa!), but it solidified that while it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, maintaining happiness through staying positive and sharing my story is what works for me.
I don’t have the master key to happiness, and if I did, you can bet your sweet ass I would have sold that bitch a long time ago, and I’d be writing this from the beach with an umbrella’d drink in hand.
Everyone has his or her own perceived idea of “happiness.” Mine is fairly simple: through it all smile and laugh.